My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    


My Origins


Sarah Elizabeth Smith
On the Sawyer line,
  my 2nd great grandmother;
On the Best line,
  my 3rd great grandmother


My paternal ancestors came to this country, some as early as the 1600's, mainly from Ireland and England. Due to a knot in that side of my family tree (my great grandfather married his sister's daughter), I am 3/32 Native American (or just less than one-tenth). My maternal ancestors came mainly from Ireland and Germany. All of my great-grandparents had moved to western Oregon and Washington by the late 1920's. See My Pedigree.

At the time of my birth, I had three living great grandparents: My mother's mother's parents lived north of Salem. I remember we visited them when I was small Joseph Ernest Bartruff died in 1953, and his wife Christine Caroline Deurkheimer, or Tena, died in 1957. My father's father's mother, Flora Margaret Sawyer, nee Best, lived on the southern Oregon coast until she died in 1970. I don't know that I ever saw her, but I remember that my grandma Sawyer used to take trips to Coquille, Oregon, to see her.

Grandpa Edgar Sawyer, and Grandma Lois had a small farm between Wheatland Road North of Salem and the dropoff where the land fell to Mission Bottom and the Willamette River. They had a house, an outhouse, a large garage, and a small barn. They had a cow or two, ducks, chickens, and pigeons. They grew vegetables in a large garden. They had a fig tree and berry vines. They were active and founding members of the Keizer Community Church.

Grandpa and Grandma Bradley had divorced. Grandpa Harvey Bradley had been in the navy and worked with heavy equipment. He had remarried and was living in Portland. Grandma Stesney (for she had also remarried) lived in Salem. She had a daughter, my aunt, who was only about a year older than I.



My parents are Richard and Patricia Sawyer of Salem, Oregon.

Dad worked for Elmo McMillan at McMillan's restaurant overhanging Mill Creek on State Street in Salem. Mr. McMillan gave my parents a gift of $100 at my birth with which they bought my crib and other things. Dad also worked as an assistant sign painter and as a Psychiatric Aide at the Fariview Home for the Mentally Retarded in Salem.

Mom owned her own restaurant, Sawyer's Lunch, on Mission Street, drove school buses for Salem Academy and Salem Private Schools, and worked as a Librarian at Salem Private and volunteered Library service with the Keizer Reading Connection.

Dad had two younger brothers: Gordon and Van. Mom had two younger brothers: Wesley (Wes) and James (Jim).

I was born in Salem General Hospital at Salem, Oregon about one o'clock in the afternoon on the 15th of June. I weighed seven pounds and four ounces and was twenty inches long. My eyes were blue and my hair was brown. I was named David, because my parents liked the name, and Elmo, after my Dad's boss. Apparently, it was a nice, sunny day.